With fans once again eagerly awaiting the next season of Stranger Things, Dark Horse have a new comic offering to hold them over in the original graphic novel Zombie Boys set after the events of season one. School is back in session in the normally quiet town of Hawkins, Indiana. Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and Will are still grappling with the traumatic encounters with the Demogorgon and the Upside Down. As tensions rise and fractures begin to form in the group, a new kid shows up to AV club with a Betamax Camcorder and an idea. The new Spielberg-wannabe friend, Joey Kim, wants to make a horror movie about a local legend, but when he sees Will’s drawings, he discovers that his new friends are local legends.
Greg Pak has an impressive body of work which ranges from classic superhero epics like Planet Hulk and World War Hulk to more teen orientated works such as Mecha Cadet Yu and his take on Agents of Atlas. These experiences make him a perfect candidate to tackle an adventure featuring the younger protagonists of the Stranger Things world. All the characters are true to their live-action counterparts and Pak has an authentic approach to writing younger characters that shines through in this comic. Whilst there is a greater emphasis on the boys’ antics this time round, he brings a balance with focus also being put on Will’s adjustment to returning to his normal life after his traumatic experience in the Upside Down.
Valeria Favoccia’s art is also a perfect fit for the story. With a style that has elements of manga and European influence sprinkled throughout, it gives the art a more light-hearted feel than previous Stranger Things comics that is ideal given the focus on the boys’ school antics. Not that she can’t pull off more serious moments too – with Will’s drawings of his Upside Down experiences and his subsequent bullying at the hands of his fellow students being particularly strong.
This is another strong entry in Dark Horse’s recent run of Stranger Things comics and is perfect for any fans looking to fill the void whilst waiting for a new season.
9781506713090 – P/B – £10.99